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What Is The Fair Credit Reporting Act?

Jan 27, 2008
The Fair Credit Reporting Act 15 USC 1681 (1992) and (1996) is an American federal law that regulates the collection dissemination and use consumer credit information along with the Fair Debt Collection Act. This forms the base of consumer credit rights in the U.S. This act also sets up guidelines for debt collectors on how to conduct business rights of consumers involved with debt collectors.

These acts protect those in debt from being harassed from creditors and to allow debtors to receive true and fair discharged debt information on a credit report. These acts are set in place so that debtors are fairly treated when paying debts, dealing with debt collectors or trying to purchase homes after bankruptcy.

You can find details on these protection acts online or at your local library. Knowing and understanding these acts can help you to protect yourself from creditors or other agencies taking advantage of your vulnerabilities. The consumer reporting agencies set forth reasonable procedures for meeting the needs of commerce for consumer credit, personnel, insurance, and other information in a way which is fair and equitable to the consumer, in a way that offers confidentiality, accuracy, relevancy, and proper utilization of such information in accordance with the requirements of this act.

After a person files bankruptcy and debts are then discharged, a credit report can still show the bankruptcy but the debts that are discharged must show a balance owed at zero due to the FCRA or Fair Credit Reporting Act.

The banking system is dependent upon fair and accurate credit reporting. Without American federal laws such as the FCRA or the Fair Credit Reporting Act debtors and creditors could not be protected from fraud and dishonesty. This act regulates the collection dissemination and use of consumer credit information. Along with the Fair Debt Collection Act, it forms the base for consumer credit rights in the United States.

Without such a law in place creditors could easily turn people away and decline every loan type. Also creditors could abuse client information without this act. If a person has filed bankruptcy and later try's to purchase a home, without the FCRA a client could easily be rejected for the home loan due to the bankruptcy debts being seen as still owed even if they were discharged. The Fair Credit Reporting Act makes credit reports show discharged debts as a zero balance.

This act has guidelines for debt collectors on how to conduct business and defines rights for consumers involved with debt collectors and prescribes penalties for violations of this act. Consumer protection is key to this law. There are other laws such as the Bankruptcy Abuse Prevention Consumer Protection Act of 2005 that aid in consumer protection. There is a solid protection in place for those dealing with debt, credit and bankruptcy. You can see more details about the FCRA on sites such as http://www.epic.org/privacy/financial/fcra.html or by searching for this information at your local library. Understanding this act can aid us in feeling more confident about the credit and banking system.
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